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Poly Styrene R.I.P.

MARIANNE JOAN ELLIOTT-SAID, 53, better known as Poly Styrene, the original teenage punk-rocker as singer of X-Ray Spex, died yeterday after a battle with breast cancer. Her songs, including “Oh Bondage… Up Yours,” “Germ Free Adolescents” and “The Day the World Turned Day-Glo” were among the most memorable to come from the U.K. in the '70s punk era, paving the way for everyone from Kim Gordon and Karen O to Lady Gaga. Of mixed race, young and wearing dental braces, Poly’s simple but powerful message was that it was OK to be different because everyone is special. Her distinctive worldview had been formed by a mix of seeing the Sex Pistols and living off the land for a summer before returning to London and finding "everything seemed to be made of plastic.” Her latest album, Generation Indigo, has been called her best music since the ‘70s. Below is a vintage video from back in the day. (4/26p)

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